Aries
Juramento Mantarraya



2019

A vivid burst of electronic sunshine
to listen while dancing around a fire.





Listen to Juramento Mantarraya

Art Direction
Graphic Design
 














La Mejor Sensación


Juramento Mantarraya (Stingray Oath) is a pagan celebration around a circular structure (1), between a multicolored megalithic monument (2) and the organized ruins of an interstellar spaceship. An album that sounds like popular music composed and sung from science fiction.

The goal of making an album cover not easy to locate in a specific time, that generates intrigue. Over the course of several months, a lot of cross references were sent back and forth with Isa, the girl behind Aries. From aesthetic moods to literay references, synths used in the recordings and daily surroundings ...

(1) central element that is present both on the front and backcover.

(2) crómlech







“Be not dishearten'd, affection shall solve the problems of freedom yet, those who love each other shall become invincible”



Over the carnage rose a voice prophetic
(1867) Walt Whitman


Themes and Composition



The whole composition is inspired by the writing style of Valle Inclán, a galician modernist writer whose style was characterised by short chapters and closed scenes to create an inner rhythm. Each one of its characters represents in a certain way, narrative aspects treated in the music: friendship, love, spirituality ... 

There is an initiation baptism, small psychotropic unfoldings, guardians of the folklore... and other elements illuminating this friendship and love; like the golden ray that multiplies after crossing a body or a disc (whose angle forms an inscribed arc as the one corresponding to the astrological sign of Aries).

The surrounding silver ink is used to highlight the multi-colored composition. By not choosing a figurative background, scenes are emptied of context and seem to float in a more abstract setting. The silver and its light reflections also reminds me of the sky of the Spanish northern coast where this album was composed and recorded.






















Logo



Aries logo is presented as an ambigram, a symbol whose reading and silhouette is repeated in an identical way when rotated. The idea of overlaying the title of the record on top of the Aries logo, came from the cover of Moby Grape -Truly Fine Citizen, randomly discovered in a used record store (such a good place to find the non expected).

Typo



I dedicated a lot of time searching for a typography with very specific characteristics: a thick character, a futuristic halo and as singular as possible. Beans STD is a redesign of the 1973 original and the result of the free time of a German pharmaceutical worker who won a contest for the legendary Letraset company.

Bars and Numerals



There is also some electronic inspiration in the design of the numerals (3) and the color bars. Each one of these, is the exact scaled translation of the length of each song; from seconds to millimeters (bars) and from seconds to degrees (concentric circles) in the labels.

The sequential flight of the stingray (mantarraya in spanish) that completes the backcover, is perhaps the only direct reference to the title on the entire record.


(3) ⚫️⬛️ Directly inspired by the Mayans numerals system and emoji transcription













"The distances between
mud and electronics can only
be walked by mysticism"


Val del Omar





Jardín de Máquinas



Val del Omar (4) understood the use of machines from a mystical attitude, where he also faced reality. This interest in the poetics from the technological, shares a spirit that I find very present in the album.

As symbols of this duality, two floating figures flank the main title. On the left, the level of quotidian life and the ordinary represented by a factory worker. On the right, the level of fiction and the extra-ordinary in a ghostly silhouette traversed by a multicolored vanishing point.

And between the scenes, el Jardín de Máquinas (Garden of machines, term taken from Val del Omar again) formed by small personal objects and every synth (5) employed during the long process of composition and recording of the album.


(4) Jose Val del Omar was a spanish movie director and visionary who invented many techniques and new approaches to expanded cinema.

(5) A Teenage Engineering OP1 by the multicolored bonfire. / An amazon whose bow is remote controlled from a Roland SP555. / By her feet, a Moog sub 37 rests with Isa’s dog Chicho. / A scubadiver sits on the diagram of a Korg Ms2000 while cuddling Jumanji, the cat. / An Elektron Digitone as a trigger for a parachute (backcover).









LP Inner sleeve
LP label

Digital singles